With the first commercial flights by Virgin Galactic anticipated to take place next year, the company rolled out its “spaceware” system today in conjunction with partner Under Armour. The UA VG wear includes a base layer, space suit – perhaps with more emphasis on the suit – and footwear. Prices for the ensemble weren’t disclosed, but earthlings will be able to buy space-related Under Armour gear in the near future.
“At Under Armour, we pride ourselves on always getting better and leaning into innovation to drive progress for our athletes, but few things can prepare you for a project as challenging and exciting as this one,” said Under Armour founder & CEO Kevin Plank. “Spaceflight is a unique and demanding regime and requires a different approach. What we’ve engineered utilizing our key technologies will define the future of spacewear and puts us at the forefront of this history-making event. We are grateful to Richard and the incredible team at Virgin Galactic for trusting us with this groundbreaking challenge.”
Unveiled at an indoor skydiving facility in New York City, the spaceware system starts with a base layer system designed to enhance performance and bloodflow during the high-G and zero G portions of flight. It showcases UA’s new Intelliknit fabric for moisture control and temperature management.
Overtop the base layer, the UA | VG Spacesuit includes other UA proprietary materials for precise fit and cushioning materials. The lining of the spacesuit includes other new fabrics for temperature control. Suit construction includes multiple pockets for necessary and personal items including an integrated communication solution with a push-to-talk (PTT) button.
Virgin Galactic notes the suit includes a clear pocket on the inside of the jacket above the heart “for a photo of a loved one” and will include a patch unique to each mission that can be removed (Velcro) to be attached to the UA | VG flight jacket presented to each astronaut after each mission. UA also gets to show off its footwear chops, designing a precise fit boot to the shape of the foot. Training suits are included in the deal.
Between now and the first commercial flight in 2020, Virgin Galactic trainers will wear and critique the spaceware ensemble on the remaining group of test flights, including performance under high-G and zero-G conditions.
Under Armour hasn’t detailed what sort of earthing mass market spaceware it will be making available in the future, but the company was quick to cash in today with a “Limited Edition” T-shirt with Virgin Galactic logos on front and back.